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Help for the elderly to get social media savvy

Local News 02 Nov, 2021 Follow News

Older persons take part in a special workshop to get them tech savvy

As part of Older Persons Month, the Department of Children and Family Services have been holding training sessions for elderly people so that they can learn how to use social media. One such training session took place on Monday, 25 October and attendees learnt how to upload pictures to WhatsApp, online shop, and how to sign up and use Instagram and Pinterest.

This was one of a series of free workshops held at the Older Persons Active Ageing Centre on McLendon Drive, George Town.

DCFS Director Mrs. Paulinda Mendoza-Williams gave some more information: “This October’s theme of ‘Digital Equity For All Ages: Connect, Create, Contribute’ is geared to enriching older persons’ lives by promoting access and participation in the digital world,” she said. “Social media sessions make the online world less daunting. The training sessions demystify a lot of the terminology involved in accessing social media, as well as providing our seniors with the necessary skills to take part in a lot of other activities which keep them engaged and socially active.”

During the Instagram familiarisation part of the training, attendees were shown how to activate the privacy setting, use the platform to search interests and hobbies, as well as how and when to use hashtags. Seniors also found out that Instagram could be a useful tool, for example they could follow local businesses like CUC to get power outage alerts.

DCFS Social Work Manager, Mrs. Lois Kellyman said: “In view of Covid, each workshop is run as a socially-distanced learning environment, so the capacity was 12 persons.”

The pandemic, she said, had had a profound impact on older persons.

“We know that this group has experienced a lot of issues related to having to spend more time than they used to at home with little company. It has also caused many of them who had once been uninterested in social media to embrace it as a way to keep in touch with family, while pursuing their interests with like-minded people across the world,” she said.

For Ms Sonia Spence attending the workshops has opened up a whole world of possibilities. “The sessions are run by friendly people who have really boosted my confidence to try out social media. I’ve still a long way to go but they’ve taught me so much,” she explained.

The last ‘How to Use Social Media’ workshop was on Friday, 29 October.

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